What did the Reformation ever do for us? – Gave us better answers to life’s big questions

On Sunday Night this week we started with a game of True or false.  Why not play the game now? Here are the statements we looked at:

-Putting money into the collection is helpful -it means that I’m closer to God/a better person. True/False?

-Sometimes if God is cross at me, he will not listen to my prayers. True/False

-Sex is necessary for having children -but can distract us from God. It is better not to get distracted by it especially if you are a missionary or a vicar True/False

When Jesus died on the Cross, he gave me a second chance so that now I can try to live a holy life for him. True/False

The important thing was not just the answers we gave but how we came up with them. Continue reading

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The danger of “self church-discipline”

Self-discipline or self- control is a good thing and a fruit of the Spirit. Self-church discipline is something entirely different, deeply distressing and quite dangerous.

I want to suggest that most “Church Discipline” is self-administered. Remember that church discipline will often include asking people to step down from particular roles and responsibilities and eventually may include exclusion from church membership.

So, what happens when someone self-disciplines?  They start to exclude themselves from things including: Continue reading

The Grace of Church Discipline

Sometimes we talk about exercising church discipline. We’ve often talked about how the phrase sounds legalistic and harsh. Yet, if this is something that God’s Word asks us to do as churches then it would be wrong of us to assume that God’s intentions are legalistic or harsh.  Rather, as we have often discovered, God’s “Law” is always more loving and full of grace than our attempts at mercy. Continue reading

What did the Reformation ever do for us? Gave us permission to disagree and challenge

Because one of the things that the Reformation does is put God’s Word back centre stage as the means by which we hear God speaks to us, it reminds us that human leaders are fallible. They get things wrong, the make mistakes. This: Continue reading

What did the Reformation ever do for us? Took on the Spiritual abusers who were controlling the Church

It’s 1517 and  preacher Joseph Tetzel is travelling through Germany with his little ditty:

“As soon as a coin in the coffer rings / the soul from purgatory springs”

With these words, he encourages, cajoles and manipulates people into paying “indulgences” in order to free their parents and grandparents from suffering in purgatory.

Each Sunday, you turn up for Mass. When it is time for the bread and wine to be eaten and drank, you don’t participate, that’s for the clergy and the monks. The Lord’s Supper has been replaced with a quasi sacrifice that you watch at a distance. Continue reading

Who is God? – Publication

On our Publications page, you will find a number of Pdf e-books. One of our aims on faithroots.net is to share resources freely. We want the church, both in terms of our own Bearwood Chapel congregations and the wider church, especially those labouring in hard places including urban estates and inner cities to have the resources they need to read and to think carefully about what they believe. Continue reading